As we near the end of the year and 2018 looms ahead, marketing teams are looking at their remaining marketing budget dollars and trying to expedite current digital campaigns that have fallen behind or they might have started their planning for next year.
The number of ways to spend your digital marketing dollars is endless. Before you start deciding where to put your dollars, you need to identify and align with your business goals then prioritize those strategies where you have already seen proven ROI. Not all channels are going to be relevant to your brand’s audience.
Common digital marketing goals tend to fall into one or two categories:
Increasing Brand Awareness – Grow your social media following, increase your social engagement, get more content shares, downloads or views.
Increasing Sales – Higher conversions for first-time buyers, increasing your average sales size, increasing your customer retention percentage.
How much should you dedicate to digital marketing? Guidelines are that you should spend anywhere from 5-15% of your total revenue on your marketing budget. Some brands are doing digital only and others a mix of traditional advertising like print and direct mail. We are going to focus on digital.
When it comes to breaking down that marketing budget further - there is the 70/20/10 rule. 70% of your budget goes to things you already know are effective. 20% of your budget goes to experimentation – a more calculated risk than just throwing money to the wind.
Use the remaining 10% budget on whatever you want. This could be an out-of-the-box idea that no one has tried – something that you feel could be worth the risk if it fails.
Do you still have some money to spend before the end of the year? We have outlined some of the ways to stretch your remaining end of the year marketing budget and put it to good use.
If you are already investing in driving traffic to your website, allocating a portion of your marketing budget towards retargeting is a smart move. If you are getting a lot of traffic to your website, spending some of your on working with a designer or agency (if you don’t have the ability in-house) to create some compelling display ads and campaign-specific landing pages worth your time.
When visitors come to your website and don’t take any action - you can then deliver those newly-created ads to visitors when they are on other websites like CNN or NFL.com for example.
This will drive branding for your company, delivering multiple impressions in efforts to get those users to return to your website.You can also personalize the content of those display ads depending on what pages or section of your site that individual users visited.
Your Retargeting display ads can convert up to 70% of visitors. It is a very cost-effective strategy to implement as you head into 2018. Not only that – you will gain the type of websites your users are visiting as well. This can help to develop more digital marketing strategies and ideas for the future.
It is now possible to retarget on these platforms:
It might be time to do a little house cleaning. How do you know if your digital strategies are even working? Could they perform even better if you had more insight on how to make the proper optimizations? It might make sense to Invest in some kind of analytics software.
It is paramount to track the progress of your marketing campaigns. What are the best ways to measure success? What are your key performance indicators? Although it seems like a - reinvesting on the campaigns that have been successful and ditching the ones that are not working should be of greater focus as you and your team are heading into 2018.
3. Get User-Centric
Users will engage with an ad or brand if it speaks to their needs and wants. They need to understand that they are in need of a solution that you provide or you have a product that they want. This insight on what makes them tick can come from doing a deep discovery and reviewing your target personas.
Those personas may have changed over the years. It is always a good idea to reevaluate your current marketing mix to make sure it is truly speaking to your target audience. Personalize it and start creating content and messaging that truly speaks to your customer base and their pain points.
Reviewing your competition’s campaigns can also give you an edge so that you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd.
4. Social Media
Depending on the type of business you are running, social media could be a great way to engage with potential customers. More and more companies are establishing a social media strategy and rightfully so. They a creating content specific for each social media channel that they publish on. Using the same content across multiple social platforms isn’t going to be enough in 2018.
The use of social media influencers is steadily increasing. Working with the recognizable names in your industry to garner social proof is now a common strategy. If you don’t have the budget to bring on a social media influencer – understand these stats: 83% percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know – 66% trust other consumer opinions posted online. Social media can be a game changer for your brand.
If you have additional budget to spend, you should consider using Google AdWords if you haven’t already. By targeting local geography – your budget can go further than you think. You will want to do your research and discover which keywords have enough traffic that you will be able to convert.
Having an engaging landing page that follows the marketing message of your AdWords campaign will lead to better conversions. When it comes to PPC – you want to give yourself enough time – 60-90 days to run the campaigns. Implement analytics so you can track your campaign’s performance.
6. Owned Content Clean-Up
Your website is nothing without the content. This is a great time to review your current branded content to see if it is still up to snuff. Is it dated and need a little refresh? What about the graphics – do they need a reset? Using your own content like blog posts or white papers as lead magnets back to your site is worth the investment.
If you are going to pay Google to get them to visit your website you want to have content that is sticky and will keep them engaged.
Not only that – you want to continually push them through the funnel until they take the desired action like contact a salesperson, sign up for your newsletter, blog or download a white paper or ebook.
This content should be developed based on language, keywords, and adjectives that will strongly appeal to your intended target audience. Mobile-ready content should be simple with very few actions to interact with it. You can kill two birds with one stone by creating content that encourages interaction with your brand while at the same time collecting consumer insights.
Whether it is a bigger investment in redesigning your company’s website or revamping current collateral and content, potentially updating the brand’s design and message is worth the look.
7. Website Redesign
Maybe you redesigned the company’s website three years ago or you just did it 6 months ago, if it isn’t aligning with the business goals – it might be time to review your options for a website redesign. Is it mobile-friendly? Do you have enough calls to action and ways to capture lead information so that you can nurture those potential sales?
Is the marketing message and value proposition clear? Are you getting enough leads from your website now? Take a look at your competition’s websites. See where you might be falling short. Doing a discovery would be the first step in the right direction. Sometimes a little cleanup is all you need – others need to start from scratch.